Dust with very low silica content e.g: –Gypsum –Marble –Limestone Lower Toxicity Dust
Construction dust can cause serious lung diseases: Lung Cancer Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) Pneumoconiosis (including silicosis) Asthma: How can It harm me?
Few develop quickly – acute silicosis, asthma Most take a long time – years Regularly breathing small amounts adds up over the years By the time you notice it may be too late to do anything about it > Important to control every single exposure How can It harm me?
Statistics are imprecise: 500+ silica related deaths in 2004 – over 10 a week Silica is the second most important cause of occupational lung cancer after asbestos Construction workers 2-3 times greater risk of COPD Other research backs up link between construction work and lung disease Reduced quality of life and shorter working life How can it harm me?
Depends upon –Amount of dust –Size of the dust particles –Type of dust How much Dust is a problem?
Based on an 8 hour average DustInhalableRespirable RCS______0.1 mgm 3 Wood5 mgm 3 As inhalable Lower Toxicity 10 mgm 3 4 mgm 3 Measured in mg/m3 –Bag of sugar = 1kg / 1,000 grams / 1 million mg –Teaspoon of sugar = 5 grams / 5,000 mg How much Dust is a problem?
Limit is the legal maximum, the most you can breathe after the right controls have been used. No short term limits BUT should not exceed x3 over a 15 min period Many construction tasks are short duration with very high exposure peaks How much Dust is a problem?
Silica: 0.02 – 0.1 mg/m3 8hrTWA BUT task specific exposure 1.7 – 9.9 mg/m3 Respirable dust: 3.9 – 50 mg/m3 Inhalable dust would also be very high How much Dust is a problem?
Managing Dust Risks: Assess (the risks) Control (the risks) Review (the controls)
Identify your High Risk Tasks by thinking about: Material Task Work area Time Frequency Assess (the risks)
Some tasks ALWAYS produce very high levels: – Cut-off saws, grinders, chasers, grit blasters Assess: Silica dust
Some tasks can in right conditions – Pneumatic drilling / coring with poor ventilation – Internal structural demolition – Dry sweeping indoors Assess: Silica dust
The law requires: First try and prevent exposure: –Design out, use different materials or processes Adequately control the remaining risk: –Higher the risk the better the controls needed Control (the risk)
Design Out Alternative grit blasting media Different work processes Control: Eliminate